Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Edward Chamberlayne, a middle-aged lawyer. Faced with the prospect of having to meet people without the aid of his wife, who has just left him, he discovers that he cares nothing for the young woman with whom he has been having an affair and that he definitely wants his wife to return. Later, after he thinks he has had a nervous breakdown, he sees a psychiatrist and comes to realize and accept the fact that he is a mediocre man who is afraid that he is incapable of really loving anyone. From this point, he begins to build a happy life.
Lavinia Chamberlayne, his wife. Having put herself under the care of a psychiatrist, Lavinia is allowed to believe that she has been to a sanatorium and been cured. After she has returned to her husband, the psychiatrist unexpectedly brings them together in a new and revealing relationship. Lavinia finally realizes that she has always been afraid that she is completely unlovable. She, too, can then adjust and build a satisfactory life with Edward.
Julia Shuttlethwaite, a friend of the Chamberlaynes. Although she gives the impression of being a meddlesome old woman with only a few of her wits about her, she is the one who contrives to have the Chamberlaynes take the action that they do.
Celia Coplestone, a sensitive young poet. Having fancied...
(The entire section is 438 words.)
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